Three More Things: Day Two — The Well-Qualified K. B. J.

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

It’s Day Two of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s four days of confirmation hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Jackson Brown to the Supreme Court. The hearing was scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. this morning; we are catching it here in progress.

You can watch live feed at these sites (not the same links as yesterday’s as the previous links may lead to recordings of Day 1):

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed

PBS Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed on YouTube

C-SPAN feed via YouTube

Yahoo News (includes reporting)

You can also catch the hearings through these live Twitter threads:

Jennifer Taub

Imani Gandy at Rewire News Group

Amee Vanderpool

Brace yourselves for three more things.

~ 3 ~

Sadly, Senator Lindsey Graham unloaded his hypocritical faux-trage this morning. Ms. Phang expresses sentiments broadly shared about his performance.

Judge Jackson was eminently qualified three times but now suddenly unqualified based on the credentials which helped her earn her previous federal appointments?

Right-wing media outlet had assured their audience yesterday about these hearings:

Oh no, honey — these hearings won’t be a circus. They’ll be a live dramatic production.

What a pity there aren’t awards given for supporting actors in a nomination hearing production.

~ 2 ~

Senator John Cornyn can’t let Graham’s act go unanswered. Nope, he needed to go after the gays because as you have surely noticed our so-called traditional marriages have all ruptured since teh gays were legally able to marry.

Damn it all, I forgot to get a lawyer and divorce my spouse back in 2015 after Obergefell v. Hodges destroyed the institution of marriage between straight people.

SCOTUS didn’t make law though Cornyn wants the GOP base to believe it did.

But this isn’t just about individuals’ rights to marriage which Cornyn is fighting. It’s about individuals’ fundamental human rights of self-determination.

If you’re non-binary especially if you’re trans, you recognize the dog whistle Cornyn’s blowing

~ 1 ~

Meanwhile, the GOP predictably plays the racism card.

Unsurprising, really; the GOP has no real platform, no substance, no policies except thinly masked oppression of more than half the country who are not xenophobic cis-het white Christians. They’re clinging to the lessons their ratfucking forebears taught them:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “N*gger, n*gger, n*gger.” By 1968 you can’t say “n*gger”—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N*gger, n*gger.”

— GOP political consultant Lee Atwater in an interview with Alexander P. Lamis, c. 1981.

Instead of busing they now talk non-stop about critical race theory (CRT), how it’s being forced on them even though they can’t explain what it is or provide any evidence it’s part of K-12 public school curriculum (it’s not). They don’t shy away from states’ rights now, claiming states have the right to remove content from schools which makes white people feel bad.

It’s overt racism with the sheerest of veils.

The GOP is following the script laid out by Chris Rufo, the guy who created the influence operation built on the university-level coursework offered to law students in which the economics of race and its historic and contemporary affect on laws and democratic society are discussed.

Now CRT is the right-wing’s bogeyman. Rufo literally laid out the approach via Twitter last Thursday:

In short, it’s what the GOP now yells every time it wants to invoke a fear response from its white supremacist base: OMG CRT CRT CRT!!!

~ 0 ~

I can’t believe we have to wade through two more days of this racist and misogynist crap. Nor can I believe we still don’t know who owns beer-loving Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

57 replies
  1. Rugger9 says:

    Lindsey Graham continues to embarrass himself on national TV. As a self-described USAF JAG he went off on a lot of topics, but I’ll zero in on a couple. LG spent lots of time trying to smear KBJ as a sympathizer to terrorists because (in part) he claimed there was a 31% recidivism rate for GTMO detainees that were released. Apparently she had mentioned in an amicus brief for Cato (et al) that unending detention (Cato’s position) wasn’t legal much less fair. Cato isn’t a bunch of tree-huggers but RW-leaning libertarians IIRC. Definitely not liberal, though.

    Durbin then fact checked LG to remind him that those released starting in 2009 had a 5% recidivism rate, so all of those bad guys Lindsey was frothing about were released by W, not Obama. Durbin also reminded that Judge Childs was up for an appeals court seat so LG’s hobbyhorse there was also misplaced. LG stormed out like a 5-year-old.

    Cornyn for his part tried to claim that KBJ had called W and Rummy ‘war criminals’, but someone has already found the brief that said that ratifying and directing torture were war crimes (which they are, and we’ve executed enemies for that). The brief was embedded here within the DKos Live Coverage #2:

    • civil says:

      Re: war crimes vs. war criminals, Steve Vladeck also pointed out that “the critical point for present purposes is that the brief named Bush and Rumsfeld in their *official* capacities — because of the offices they held, not because of any specific role they played in these cases. Indeed, it *had* to name them under the relevant procedural rules. And when President Obama came to office on January 20, 2009, the captions *automatically* changed, so that they became [Detainee] v. Obama instead of [Detainee] v. Bush — reinforcing the point that naming these defendants officially is not a claim about their *personal* conduct. Finally, and oh by the way, the *reason* why #GTMO habeas petitions *have* to name the President and Secretary of Defense, versus naming the government generally, is because of #SCOTUS’s sovereign immunity jurisprudence and the “officer suits” exception it has carved into it.”

  2. Rayne says:

    As you follow these hearings this week, ask yourself what would have changed if Judge Jackson had been a white woman.

    • Rugger9 says:

      That is an interesting question, in that we do have the comparison to Barrett’s confirmation hearings. However, ACB wasn’t given the same sort of hoops that KBJ’s been given to jump through (LSAT scores, really?). Perhaps this hypothetical would be better focused if HRC was nominated.

      KBJ is an excellent choice and it’s pretty clear that the GQP is trying to paint her into rhetorical corners. LG for his part in trying to smear her for being an advocate on an amicus brief conveniently forgets that it’s equivalent to saying the defense lawyer by definition is equally scummy as the axe murderer they’re defending. LG says he’s defended, so was he as guilty as his clients? So, this is the best that the GQP can do.

      It will be interesting to see how LG handles Judge Childs’ confirmation that will follow in due course. She’d be a Biden nominee so would that overrule LG’s convenient love for South Carolinians.

  3. observiter says:

    Amazon/Prime movie called “The Report” documents Senate Intelligence Committee findings about such detainees.

  4. observiter says:

    Maybe the question should be…what would have changed if Judge Jackson had been a white MAN ?

    • Rugger9 says:

      The first litmus test is the politics, followed by race and gender. The name checking of Janice Rogers Brown (whose rulings over the years have only confirmed the anxiety that resulted when she was tapped as a potential SCOTUS justice) is the GQP’s version of the Rooney Rule consideration.

    • ducktree says:

      Seriously! Rafael displayed enough of his failure to interpret the meaning and moral of “Green Eggs and Ham” during the ACA hearings. That alone should have cured him of citing children’s literature in his specious argumentation.

      https: // (in which is own child rejects his “kiss”)

    • Leoghann says:

      The Cuban-Canadian Carpetbagger had a dramatic fit at the Bozeman airport Sunday. He couldn’t accept that he fucked around and missed his flight, and security had to be called to help him calm down. And all because he needed to get back to Washington to be even more dramatic.

      What a waste of an ivy league education.

      • Eureka says:

        “had a dramatic fit”

        LOL I first read that as talking about his outfit/clothing but of course that would not be applicable to Sen. Cancun’s airport attire. /the anti-drip

        • Leoghann says:

          I can just see him, standing heroically at the American ticket counter, a tailor dithering about measurements and tucks.

  5. Savina brown says:

    I am also saying that what happens may be the government problem because he the one leading us.

    • Rayne says:

      Welcome to emptywheel, Savina brown from a static IP address on the African continent.

      Your comment needs clarification: please explain the “what happens,” which government may have a problem, what that problem is, and finally who is the “he” and the “us” to which you’ve referred in your comment?

  6. ducktree says:

    Can anyone here identify the grey eminence (with white pocket hanky) sitting behind KBJ who’s taking notes during the questioning?


    • civil says:

      If you’re asking about the person I think, it’s her husband (bearded white man with glasses in a gray suit with a white hanky).

      • bg says:

        I think he is related to Paul Ryan who said he had highest regard in all ways for KBJ. Not sure how related, by marriage I believe.

  7. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne.
    The Pompous GOP Party certainly are angry.
    Huge difference with Judge Jackson hearing compared to Kavanaugh.
    He was accused of sexual assault and misconduct. She is not.

  8. harpie says:

    [Sorry for unloading here, but]
    I am so g-dDAM’d TIRED of ALL these scared-chickenSH-T WHINY-ass CRY-baby GOPers.

    • Eureka says:

      Yes, roundly pathetic; embarrassing that they represent our country (the stupidity is televised) (fortunately for us and UKR, only Putin’s intelligence services have time to watch this shit); did I mention the grating dumbness?

      From one breath to the next, Blackburn says she or parents or whoever want parental control AND for the government to protect children.

      I file this one under ‘dull’ more than ‘hypocrisy’, which begets the chicken-egg conundrum, which is the higher-order deficit?

      Lazy inconsistency is a gateway drug of its own.

      • Leoghann says:

        The revolution will not be televised, but, sadly, the stupidity will be, in all its painful detail.

  9. jdmckay says:

    I’ve read all the comments here, and yesterday. All the RWNJ idiocy on full display, but what else is new? I have nothing to add to all that.

    I just wanted to say, I have been soooo impressed with Judge Jackson. She’s given the most complete and thoughtful answers of any SCOTUS nominee I can remember. Her countenance is unflappable, I did not hear or see her rattled with any of the absurd questioning. She smiled often, and easily.

    I like her a lot.

  10. Leoghann says:

    The Fabulous Lindsey’s major snit today may have outdone any of his other theatrical accomplishments. In recognition, I nominate him for the Moira Rose Bowl for Obfuscatory Melodrama. The only thing that kept that whole ordeal from being nauseating was Senator Durbin’s fact check at the end of his spiel.

    As Bob Dylan pointed out, everybody has to serve somebody. Today John Cornyn is coming out to say he serves Herr Chancellor Abbott, of the New Texas Nazi Party. The way he’s nuzzling up to Abbott and Paxton, you’d think he was running for a US Representative spot in 2022.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Political theater. Lindsey is expert at appearing to throw tantrums. It keeps him in the fundamentalist spotlight, which is what all his Republican Senate colleagues are trying to do. That they have a nominee for the Supreme Court in front of them is happenstance. Were Thomas to become so critically ill he would leave the Court, then they would be doing this stuff for real.

      The Democrats, however, need to up their game. Whitehouse and Booker aside, they seem to be coasting, which is not a good sign for many reasons.

      • bmaz says:

        Disagree. Think Durbin has been calm and steady. Ossoff has been surprisingly good. As has Blumenthal, Whitehouse, Hirono and Klobuchar. Don’t think any of them were bad, just calm and on target.

        • bg says:

          The R stürm und drang is so over the top, perhaps it just makes the Ds LQQK like they are not playing, which they, of course, are not.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Well, as part of command school officers are trained in how to look like they’re losing their minds without actually doing so. It’s an analog to the USN observation that sometimes what is needed to fix a problem is to swear at it. However, LG’s tantrum was not one of those, because of what he said (you don’t lie if you’re staging it as a commander). Cornyn and Kennedy reinforced my observation this AM by their respective whines. Durbin’s having none of it, but I think it is wise on his part to let the GQP throw everything out they can so it can be fact-checked like Durbin was doing yesterday.

        So, we’ll get more falsehoods today. LG’s input will be ‘interesting’ (ahem). It’s all about the midterms and sound bite ads for the GQP. FWIW I think Murkowski and Romney would be most likely to join the Ds if for no other reason than their shame (yeah I know the GQP doesn’t have any) about how their party behaved this week.

        • ceebee says:

          I envision the GQP as a hall of mirrors. The mirrors in Utah and Alaska seem to have a bit less built-in distortion.

          I hope younger folks see it as refreshing to get entirely away from its mindset.

  11. Libration Point says:

    Meanwhile here in Hoosierstan, Senator Braun is very eager to remind everyone that we used to be run by the KKK and said that Loving vs Virginia was wrongly decided and states should be able to ban interracial marriage.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Well, the whole idea falls apart on equal protection (14th Amendment) and the interstate respect of the other states’ laws (Article IV, Sections 1 and 2). The idea that an ‘overriding public interest’ could exist is now well and thoroughly debunked by all of the years’ worth of evidence about the success of interracial (and same-sex, etc.) marriage and the children from those unions, plus those who chose not to marry officially. Where is the harm to society in general? There isn’t any that Braun can point to.

      This also ignores the practical aspect of trying to enforce such a ban, plus what to do about all of those children (some now adults) in terms of how they will be classified for their race. I know my now-grown kids would never consider such a ban in their lives.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        All good points. Braun probably believes in “one drop of blood” style of racial purity. I might be mistaken, but I believe that Dred Scott was something like 7/8 white with only one ancestor being black. This type of blatant racism and disregard of the Constitution should never be acceptable in any political party.

          • bmaz says:

            Tell me, what exactly does the petty incantation of “GQP” add to anything? This type of stupid crap really is useless and makes us all look stupid.

  12. Jenny says:

    I have been watching the hearings and am impressed with Judge Jackson. She is grounded, centered and balanced. Calm, cool and collected. Conscious woman.
    Her exchange with Senator Booker was a breath of fresh air.

    Recently, viewed a piece from the Kavanaugh hearings. Kavanaugh proves that men are too emotional to be on the Supreme Court.

  13. harpie says:

    It looks like Zoe Tillman will live tweet the hearing today, at least for now:
    9:16 AM · Mar 23, 2022

    […] Jk, this hearing is kicking off with Cornyn and Kennedy arguing with Durbin about whether Durbin has been improperly editorializing about GOP members’ questions and comments after they have their turns

    Durbin says they know very well the committee chair gets that time and it was exercised by his GOP predecessors. Ossoff jumps in to “humbly” ask if they can back on track. Durbin: “I think in the name of your humility we should do that,” laughter, Grassley is up […]

    arguing = WHINING

    • harpie says:

      Also Charles Pierce, but he doesn’t thread his tweets:
      9:20 AM · Mar 23, 2022

      Senator Ossoff is very good at telling people to shut the fck up.

      Grassley compliments Democrats for the nominee’s not screaming and turning red and asking committee members if they’ve been blackout drunks.

      I find Ossoff’s Dutiful Schoolboy method of delivering the shiv very appealing.

  14. Ewan says:

    Sorry, completely O/T but I can’t help but have a smile on my face reading this news. This guy has now signed to a life in Brest. Good luck with that.

    • Leoghann says:

      I hear Brest is JUST LIKE Southern California, especially in the spring. And the surfing is great.

      Neumann will be a hero for awhile, until the notoriously volatile and paranoid Lukashenko decides he’s not.

      • klynn says:

        That’s snark right? As someone who has been there, Brest is not a nice place. It’s depressing.

        • Leoghann says:

          If you had any doubt, the surfing comment should have told you it was snark. There’s very little about Belarus that isn’t depressing, and Neumann’s presence won’t improve it any.

  15. Quake says:

    The Repubs presumably think these antics will help them but you’d think at some point they’d piss off well over half the electorate. But maybe we’ll never get there…. (Sigh)

    • Leoghann says:

      They succeeded in that years ago. But they’ve also succeeded in throwing a few elections since then.

  16. harpie says:

    DURBIN addresses KBJ:
    9:45 AM · Mar 23, 2022 [VIDEO]

    DURBIN: So, I would say that the bottom line is this: you have done what 80 percent of the judges have done. You’re in the mainstream of sentencing when it comes to child pornography cases. I also think it’s ironic that the Senator from Missouri [HAWLEY], who unleashed this discredited attack, refuses to acknowledge that his own choice for federal judge in the Eastern District of Missouri, has done exactly what you did.
    [0:25 HAWLEY reacts. See also his aide’s reaction.]

    You also have been criticized as having been wrong to be a public defender, or even being in a law firm representing a Guantanamo detainee. It’s interesting that Republican judges, very conservative ones, don’t see this as a blemish on your character. They understand as we do, that the Sixth Amendment creates a responsibility that people have a right to counsel. You have exercised that responsibility in your professional life.

    This, incidentally, yesterday, your nomination turned out to be a testing ground for conspiracy theories and culture war theories. The more bizarre the charges against you and your family, the more I understand the social media scoreboard lit up yesterday. I’m sorry that we have to go through this. These are not theories that are in the mainstream of America, but they have been presented here as such.

  17. Rugger9 says:

    Grassley’s complaining about forum shopping even though the GQP has a favorite judge in Houston (IIRC, definitely TX) for issuing nationwide rulings on all topics, i.e. Obamacare.

  18. Rugger9 says:

    OT, there is a report that Manafort has been caught trying to flee to Dubai, since his passport had been revoked because he is a grave national security threat. MSN has it, but it seems too ‘convenient’ to me unless there was some restriction in the pardon issued by Individual-1. I’m not so sure that Manafort would be all that safe in Dubai, being closer to Putin’s henchmen.

    Also OT, it looks like the Meadows voting irregularities case is expanding to include Mrs. Meadows as well. We’ll see how North Carolina addresses this, but why does it seem that most (if not all) of the voter fraud is committed by GQP types?

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